Inject a Game Changer

Dec. 1, 2012
Changing how we complete tasks or deliver care can be challenging.

Onpharma’s Onset Can Dramatically Improve Schedule Efficiency

By Tricia Osuna, RDH, BS, FAADH

Changing how we complete tasks or deliver care can be challenging. However, now and then something happens in dental technology that is a game changer, and we wonder how we ever did it the “old way.”

Let’s think back to when we were first introduced to Sonicare. A positive buzz arose over how the powered toothbrush worked. Yet, I think we all wondered about the cost and whether patients would really use it. It took a while for many in dentistry to accept it. Sonicare, though, has turned out to be such an amazing product that most of us are now recommending it, and Sonicare is widely adopted by consumers. At the end of the cycle, Sonicare has represented a huge shift in the way patients and practitioners address their oral hygiene care and health.

One aspect of dentistry that has not really been altered much is local anesthesia. Even so, getting patients anesthetized is at the core of our daily practices, and it remains a major influence on the flow of our schedules. I have wondered whether anything new would come along to make the local anesthetic injection a better tool for the practitioner.

The game changer is here, and the product is Onset by Onpharma. I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Dr. Mark Hyman and listened to his enthusiasm as he explained how Onset lets him stay with the patient after giving the injection, which allows him to take control of his schedule.

Onset is a chairside technology that, in 10 seconds, precisely buffers local anesthetic cartridges. By raising the pH level of the local anesthetic, the body does not have to work as hard and anesthesia occurs more rapidly. Onset is so rapid, in fact, that Dr. Hyman and many other dentists are no longer leaving the chair after giving the injection. They sit down, complete the entire procedure, and then move on to the next patient on the schedule. Dr. Hyman describes this simplified routine as a game changer, finishing the entire procedure without a series of interruptions (de-gloving, leaving, returning, re-gloving, re-introduction, and restarting). He says this routine delivers a better patient experience, and allows his staff to build more predictability into their tasks, which lowers stress. His staff loves working this way and is 100% behind the new simplified routine.

The question becomes can every practice simplify their day in this way? I think they can. It comes down to three things, desire, benefits, and cost.

Most practitioners would prefer not to leave the patient in the middle of the procedure. Everyone in the office would like to stay on schedule, as would patients. At $60 per day, the cost of using Onset should not be a barrier to taking control of the practice’s schedule. In fact, practitioners are gaining an hour of chair time on the restorative side of the practice per day using Onset, which is worth 10 times the cost, or 20 times the cost if the extra hour is used for an additional CEREC procedure.

On the dental hygiene or preventive side of the practice, we can begin therapy earlier in the time allotted and have adequate time for an exam to be completed during the appointment. The doctor has a more predictable window for hygiene because the routine of running from operatory to operatory and back again has been eliminated. Essentially, because Onset is being used on both the preventive and restorative sides of the practice, both schedules are running as they should!

My recommendation is that we embrace this new anesthetic buffering product and view Onset as an opportunity to be more successful, to relax and enjoy this awesome profession! RDH

TRICIA OSUNA, RDH, BS, FAADH, is a University of Southern California graduate and immediate past president of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene. Tricia has over 34 years of experience as a dental hygienist. She is a career-long CDHA/ADHA member and a previous member of the Dental Board of California. Licensed in both California and New York, her experiences traverse the dental hygiene arena in a very unique way with a variety of roles in dental hygiene including clinician, educator, consultant, international presenter, author, and mentor, as well as business owner and president of Professional Insights, Inc.

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